88.5 Now – WMNF’s Newsletter January 2019

2019-Last-Local-Tshirt-FINALHappy New Year From WMNF! 
We are excited to spend 2019 with you!
Here’s to a year full of music, news and community!
This year marks 40 years of WMNF
From 1979 until now, we’ve cherished every moment with you.
What’s your favorite memory of WMNF?

If you have one you’d like to share, please email your story, and a picture if you’d like, to
Development Assistant Justin Garcia at: [email protected]


Our Winter 2019 Fund Drive is right around the corner!

  Last. Local. Radio. 
Depends On Your Support!

Be sure to tune in February 6th – 13th and help keep this community treasure on the air for another 40 years!

You can receive all kinds of cool thank you gifts for your donation: – https://www.wmnf.org/gift-category/swag/ 

Our goal is $250,000.  It’s how we get 70% of our revenue to keep bringing you the programming you love.   
Beat the crowd and make a donation to your favorite show now,visit: https://www.wmnf.org/programming/


Production Profile: Janelle Irwin


The WMNF news department thrives on the hard work of people like Janelle Irwin. She’s been a volunteer, a senior reporter and a show host at the station. Her efforts in the newsroom helped the station develop a renowned reputation in local news. Janelle got her start in journalism at WMNF and recently returned to the station to host MidPoint Friday from 12 pm – 1pm.In 2010, Janelle was involved in the PTA at her daughter’s school.  She met the cousin of Kate Bradshaw, who was the senior reporter for WMNF at the time.

“She introduced me to Kate, who’s now my best friend, I might add. And I told her I always wanted to be a journalist but life got in the way. So she put me in touch with Sean Kinane. A week later I started volunteering. That was in 2010.”

Janelle was raising her three daughters at the time, while also attending college. Her passion for reporting was such that she found the time to volunteer even with these responsibilities.

“I volunteered at least twice a week, sometimes as many as five days a week, trying to get as much experience as I could get. I helped cover what Sean’s needs were in the newsroom. Anything from enviromental issues to social justice. I volunteered for almost two years before I was hired onto staff.”

When Kate Bradshaw left WMNF, a need for a senior reporter opened up. Janelle applied, hopeful that she’d get the position.

“Sean really went to bat for me and saw my value as a reporter through the work I did as a volunteer. I’ll never forget the day he called me and offered me the job. It was definitely a life changing moment.”

Janelle’s work at the station helped bolster the nightly newscasts with important local happenings. On top of her reporting, she began hosting “The Last Call”, a political call-in show which later became MidPoint. She was part of a robust news team.

“One of my highlights was a story I did in June of 2014. There was a hyper conservative group called The Liberty Council. They taught church leaders how to get around tax laws that prohibit churches advocating for political issues. I went to a meeting and they consented to let me record it. I ended up publicly exposing this nationwide effort to undermine tax laws.”

Due to a tragedy in the family, Janelle had to find a different occupation which allowed her to work from home. She moved on to work for Florida Politics and Tampa Bay Business Journal, and continued to host MidPoint as a volunteer until Daniel Ruth took over in 2016. In January of 2019, Janelle stepped back into the scene to host MidPoint Friday.

“The first week was rough, I hadn’t been a show host in twenty months. I had to get my sea legs back and there were some awkward moments. The second week it was like I never left, I fell right back into it.”

Her vision is one of making MidPoint an atypical news show with a personal touch.

“I really want it to be different than all of the other shows we’ve got on the station. I want to cover serious topics in a serious way but with a lighthearted and fun spirit about it. I say,
‘Deliver the news with a smile’.”

Janelle is glad to be back on the air at WMNF.  The station and her listeners are certainly happy to have her voice again. It’s not lost on her that WMNF is a invaluable resource.

“What the station offers to the community is rare in the media today. So much of our media is bought and paid for by incredibly rich people who dictate what’s covered and what isn’t. It’s a really valuable place for people to get an alternative source of news from an alternative perspective.”

Find out more and stream MidPoint Friday here: https://www.wmnf.org/events/midpoint-with-wmnf-news-friday/

Production Profile: Dennis Stone

In the dead of night while driving through lonely Florida highways Dennis Stone chooses the tunes for Dream Clinic. Every Tuesday from 8 pm – 10pm Dennis sweeps away his listeners with the sounds of psychedelia, prog rock, folk and more.  And he orchestrates it all while many of us are sound asleep. His selections represent music from his high school years, 67-75 and world music from the 70s.It’s been a long journey for Dennis at WMNF.  He’s been around for 25 years contributing to the station. It started with a conversation at work.

“A fellow that I worked with told me about WMNF, probably about 1989.  Everyone knew me as a person who enjoyed music. I had a nickname, ‘Mr. 8-Track’, at one point I had over 1,000 8-Tracks. My co-worker knew that about me and said I’d probably like this show on this local radio station. I didn’t listen to radio at that time, I had given up on commercial radio.”

The show his co-worker was recommending was the 60s Show. Dennis started tuning in and making regular requests to the host of the show, Dave Hill.

“In the fall of 1993, Dave was going to leave the station, and he asked me if I would like to come in and do a segment on his show. I picked out twenty something minutes of music and he called it, ‘Dennis’ world of rare and unusual music’. And I was literally shaking in my boots the entire time.”

Despite his fears, Dennis pressed on. He started volunteering and getting more comfortable with the station. Within about a month, he heard about Mark Kramer, who hosted the Dream Clinic.

“I heard that Mark and I had a lot in common musically. I would hook up my tape deck to record his show. Then I started talking to Mark, he invited me to come in, and I just never left.”

Dennis worked with Mark until he took over Dream Clinic in 1996. Needless to say he’s seen a lot in his nearly quarter century on-air. He’s most fond of the connections he’s made through music.

“The most fun part of the show for me is the people who call in. I did a show on the 4th of July one year. A lady called in and told me about how her life had been rough lately. Whatever it was that I played that night made her feel really good. I always felt that if your programming could for a couple of hours effect listeners’ lives, you’ve done your job.”

While his process of selecting music while driving overnight for work is certainly a solitary one, Dennis is all about community. He thanks his wife Denise, Tim, George, Ted and Tony. The FDG or Freakin-Dreamin-Grovin comraderie between the Freak Show, Dream Clinic and In The Groove also gives him constant inspiration.

“For the people involved with WMNF it’s like being in a club. You make all of these nice friends and experience all of these things together. It’s community involvement that offers so much to people’s lives.”

Find out more and stream Dream Clinic here: https://www.wmnf.org/events/dream-clinic/


WMNF Upcoming Events:WMNF Trivia Night – January 31st (And every Thursday night) – @ Red Star Rock Bar, 5210 N. Florida Ave. Tampa, FL 33603

WMNF Road Trip With Flee! – February 21st, 6pm – 8pm – @ The Queens Head, 2501 Central Ave. St. Petersburg, FL 33713

JD McPherson plus Lindsay Beaver – February 22nd, 8 pm – @ Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa, FL 33613

How Music Saved My Life – March 2nd, 7pm – @ WMNF Studios 1210 E. MLK Blvd. Tampa, FL 33603

David Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore – April 11th, 7pm – @ Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa, FL 33613

The WMNF Record and CD Sale – April 27th, 9 am – 2 pm – @ WMNF Studios 1210 E. MLK Blvd. Tampa, FL 33603



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